Rev.1: 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.---Jesus is the Alpha and Omega- the Almighty!
Daniel 11:33. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as
well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from
legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is
also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.
Some of the nation’s most respected legal teams are asking the
Supreme Court to take up a challenge to the indefinite-detention provisions of
the National Defense Authorization Act, charging the law has created the
framework for a police state.
The controversial provision authorizes the military, under
presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold
indefinitely American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security
threat to the United States.”
Journalist Chris Hedges is among the plaintiffs charging the law
could be used to target journalists who report on terror-related issues.
brief submitted in the case states: “The central question now before
this court is whether the federal judiciary will stand idly by while Congress
and the president establish the legal framework for the establishment of a
police state and the subjugation of the American citizenry through the threat
of indefinite military arrest and detention, without the right to counsel, the
right to confront one’s accusers, or the right to trial.”
bried was submitted to the Supreme Court by attorneys with the U.S. Justice
Foundation of Ramona, Calif., Friedman Harfenist Kraut & Perlstein of Lake
Success, N.Y., and William
J. Olson, P.C. of Vienna, Va.
The attorneys are Michael Connelly, Steven J. Harfenist, William
J. Olson, Herbert W. Titus, John S. Miles, Jeremiah L. Morgan and Robert J.
They are adding their voices to the chorus asking the Supreme
Court to overturn the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the
plaintiffs didn’t have standing to challenge the law adopted by Congress.
The brief is on behalf of U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, Virginia
Delegate Bob Marshall, Virginia Sen. Dick Black, the U.S. Justice Foundation,
Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Center for Media & Democracy,
Downsize DC Foundation, Downsize DC.org, Free Speech Defense & Education
Fund, Free Speech Coalition, Western Journalism Center, The Lincoln Institute,
Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation and Conservative
Legal Defense & Education Fund.
2014 NDAA was fast-tracked
through the U.S. Senate, with no time for discussion or amendments, while most
Americans were distracted by the scandal surrounding A&E’s troubles with
“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson.
Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and others filed a
lawsuit in 2012 against the Obama administration to challenge the legality of
an earlier version of the NDAA.
It’s Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, and its successors, that
drew a lawsuit by Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alex
O’Brien, Kai Warg All, Brigitta Jonsottir and the group U.S. Day of Rage. Many
of the plaintiffs are authors or reporters who stated that the threat of
indefinite detention by the U.S. military already had altered their activities.
“It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Hedges says of the bill. “It is
a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years
of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing.”
Hedges is a former foreign correspondent for the New York
Times and was part of a team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002
for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism.
The friend-of-the-court brief warns the precedent “leaves
American citizens vulnerable to arrest and detention, without the protection of
the Bill of Rights, under either the plaintiff’s or the government’s theory of
“The judiciary must not await subsequent litigation to resolve
this issue, as the nature of military detention is that American citizens then
would have no adequate legal remedy,” the brief explains.
Section 1021 allows the detention of anyone, including American
citizens, by the military, if the president considers that person to have help
with terror. It’s different from the Authorization for the Use of Military
Force, which was adopted immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks, because
while that law allows detention, there must be something linking them to the
“Section 1021 authorizes detention, potentially forever, and
even rendition of American citizens to foreign nations,” the brief points out.
“If this court refuses to hear the Hedges challenge, it will leave American
citizens subject to unconstitutional military arrest and detention.
“If this court does not grant the petition, there is no reason
to believe the U.S. presidents would cease to assert ‘the right to place
certain individuals [including American citizens] in military detention,
without trial.’ There would continue to be no statutory constraint on an arrest
being authorized by a military officer of unspecified rank. There would be no
protection provided by the requirement of a grand jury indictment. There would
be no requirement of an arrest arrant issued by an Article II judge supported
by a sworn affidavit showing probable cause of the commission of a specific
crime. Neither would there be any protection against use of compelled
testimony, or against an violation of due process of law. There would be no
civilian proceedings whatsoever against the person detained. Indeed, there is
no requirement that the individual being detained has committed any federal
crime, and military detentions could be used to circumvent the protections
afforded American citizens by the treason clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
It describes a scary scenario.
“After the string of black Suburbans pulls away, it is difficult
to believe that the military would provide relatives or lawyers with any
information whatsoever as to where the person being detained was being held.”
After all, it explains, Congress specifically expressed its
desire for the detention provision to apply to American citizens even on
American soil by rejecting multiple amendments that would have exempted them.
And Obama, also, affirmed the detention authority, stating, “I
want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite
military detention without trial of American citizens … My administration will
interpret Section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it
authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other
Simply stating that means it could be interpreted in a contrary
At the trial court level, U.S. District Judge Katherine B.
Forrest issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order that struck the provision as
states have passed state laws banning its enforcement inside those states. Herb
Titus, a constitutional expert, previously told WND Forrest’s ruling
underscored “the arrogance of the current regime, in that they will not answer
questions that they ought to answer to a judge because they don’t think they
The judge explained that the plaintiffs alleged paragraph 1021
is “constitutionally infirm, violating both their free speech and associational
rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment as well due process rights guaranteed by
the 5th Amendment.”
She noted the government “did not call any witnesses, submit any
documentary evidence or file any declarations.”
“It must be said that it would have been a rather simple matter
for the government to have stated that as to these plaintiffs and the conduct
as to which they would testify, that [paragraph] 1021 did not and would not
apply, if indeed it did or would not,” she wrote.
Instead, the administration only responded with, “I’m not
authorized to make specific representations regarding specific people.”
“The court’s attempt to avoid having to deal with the
constitutional aspects of the challenge was by providing the government with
prompt notice in the form of declarations and depositions of the … conduct in
which plaintiffs are involved and which they claim places them in fear of
military detention,” she wrote. “To put it bluntly, to eliminate these
plaintiffs’ standing simply by representing that their conduct does not fall
within the scope of 1021 would have been simple. The government chose not to do
so – thereby ensuring standing and requiring this court to reach the merits of
the instant motion.
“Plaintiffs have stated a more than plausible claim that the
statute inappropriately encroaches on their rights under the 1st Amendment,”
Experts have expressed concern that even a journalist who has
interviewed a member of a terror group may be considered to have rendered aid
to that group.
The government appealed the trial judge’s ruling to the 2nd
Circuit, which abruptly ruled that the plaintiffs had no right to challenge the
In the following interview, Hedges, early in the case, described
what he sees developing: